Valverde: Barcelona will be affected by Messi’s loss



Although he was unaware of the extent of Lionel Messi’s injury, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde admitted that the fact he had to be replaced was concerning.

The Blaugrana captain exited early with an arm injury following a tangle with Franco Vazquez that wil see him sidelined for three weeks.

“We are waiting to see what the tests say and at the moment we don’t have any news on it,” Valverde told Movistar Partidazo.

“We must be optimistic but the fact that Leo had to leave the field is obviously significant.

“It is clear that it is a sensitive injury. We know what he gives to us and what the opponent thinks when they see Leo on the field.

“We must prepare ourselves and have resources to cope without him, even if there are tough game.

“In the past, we have had games without him and have always tried to maintain our style.”

They could be without the captain for a vital Champions League showdown with Inter and the Clasico, with the man in charge now looking forward to the challenges it brings.

“This is an important week for us, we play for the lead in our group with Inter and then it is the Clasico,” he continued.

“We have high hopes for this week. It is difficult as there are two important games.

“But I look ahead to these games just like the players. Noise from the outside about them is normal and nothing can be done about it.

“We are jut focused on winning against Inter and then trying to beat Madrid and we will see if we can do that.”